Tag Archives: gear

Gearing up for the Boilermaker

13 Jul

As soon as I finish writing this quick post, I will be getting ready for bed. Why? Because we’ve got to get up at 3:00 AM to get ready and on the road in time to make it to Utica, NY for the Boilermaker 15K! It’s approximately an hour and 20 minute drive, but we need to be there around 6:00 AM for me to catch the shuttle to the start. That means a senior citizen bed time for this runner!

My awesome Albany Running Exchange pal picked up my race packet yesterday and delivered it to my doorstep! I am very grateful for that.

Then, I realized that the bib color I have places me in the very last starting corral. Say what?! I would be lying if this didn’t put me in an instant bad mood of disappointment and frustration. I knew my projected time should have put me in a different spot. I envisioned myself fighting through a crowd of 14,000 to get to a pace I was happy with. I admit, I may have even whined a little bit. OK, maybe more than a little…

Once I got over myself, I switched my focus to accepting that where I start doesn’t have to determine my experience. I want to enjoy this race, have fun with my fellow runner friends, and celebrate with my mini-fan club (parents and hubby) at the finish line.

Whatever time I finish in doesn’t matter all that much. Let me say that again. Whatever time I finish in doesn’t matter all that much. (OK, let’s put that one on repeat…) This will be the first official 15K I have run, so I’m guaranteed a PR!

Alright, enough whining. On to the important stuff. Here’s my race day outfit!


  1. Reebok  Core Run Tank
  2. Brooks PR Mesh Skort
  3. Brooks Pure Cadence shoes
  4. RoadID shoe ID
  5. Boston Strong BIC Band
  6. C9 by Champion Racer Back Compression Bra
  7. C9 by Champion runglasses
  8. Garmin Forerunner 110
  9. SmartWool PhD Running Ultra Light Micro socks

And now, a few fun facts about the Boilermaker.

  • It finishes at a brewery and there is free beer for all along with a party.
  • The 2013 winner of the Boston Marathon, Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia) won the Boilermaker 15K in 2010.
  • Since it’s inaugural year in 1978, runners from 40 different countries have participated.
  • Running legend Bill Rodgers ran and won it in 1983, elevating the race to national exposure.
  • Kathrine Switzer was speaking at the expo today and I didn’t get to see her!

Off to bed now, I’ll see you all after the race!


June came so soon! (A Stridebox Review)

14 Jun

I woke up to a beautiful sight this morning – the sun was back out and ready to play! After running a couple of errands, I set myself up on the front porch for some blogging, reading, snacking, hydrating, and icing (for tomorrow’s 5K).

image_1It seems like it wasn’t very long ago that I got around to reviewing the May Stridebox and here I am with the June box ready and waiting for me to enjoy it. Let’s open it up!


As I started pulling the items out, I was immediately excited about the Foot Rubz Massage Ball. Mark and I had just had a conversation about how he should use a foot roller to help with his new running pains. Now we don’t have to go find one! According to the package, there are over 160 stimulating fingers on the ball that help massage sore feet, hands, or any where. I gave it a try and it feels gooood!


This month’s fuel and hydration picks:


  1. PocketFuel Crunchy Banana Blueberry Almond Butter with kick. Vegan, gluten free, 100% natural whole food fuel with 8g of protein. I’ve never had a crunchy squeeze fuel before, so I’m curious about how that added texture will affect the fueling experience. You can read all about the company philosophy here.
  2. Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix in Lemons/Limes flavor. This is known as “Secret Drink Mix” because athletes claim it has performed better than the leading brands and doesn’t cause bloating or stomach discomfort. I’m looking forward to trying it out, but I’m pretty skeptical that it’s going to be better than my favorite nuun.
  3. Electro Delytes Energy and Electrolyte Citrus Bar. This bar has electrolytes, simple carbs, all natural ingredients, no caffeine and only 55 calories!
  4. PowerICE Lime Kicker Electrolyte Ice Bar. Who doesn’t enjoy a nice freeze pop on a hot summer day? Well, now you can replenish electrolytes after a hot and sweaty summer workout in the same fun way you did as a kid (but better for you). Gluten free, Kosher, no high-fructose corn syrup, 30 calories…and it’s frozen! I’m popping this in the freezer for another one of those 90 degree days!

I’m not one to usually change the laces on my shoes, but I might consider it now that I’ve got a set of Lock Laces. This is a cool elastic shoelace fastening system that keeps your laces tight and secure without the need for double knots. The company also lists improved circulation and prevention of heel crushing as product benefits. They come in a variety of colors and you can use them for any athletic shoe and for multiple activities. I might put these on my Saucony Mirage II’s, since the laces don’t stay tight and the tongue likes to move around.


Remember that time I ended up with some serious chafing after a 10 mile run? This anti-chafe cream with tea tree oil from Blue Steel Sports sure would have come in handy to prevent that painful mess! It can be used to prevent chafing OR to help soothe and calm irritated skin after activity. The tea tree oil (which I love!) adds a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent. image_4When I first opened this month’s box, I was a little less-than excited about all the lemon-limey products because it’s not usually my favorite flavor. Now that I’ve had the chance to really look closely at each of those products, I’m looking forward to testing them out even if my taste buds aren’t so jazzed. As usual, the $15 monthly subscription proves to be a worthy investment, as the retail value of June’s contents is over $26!

And finally, keeping in line with the efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle, here’s how I re-purposed May’s box:

strideboxreuse2It makes a great fuel bin for the cupboard!

If you haven’t already subscribed to Stridebox, what are you waiting for?! Go here and get it now so you don’t miss out in July!

Running with love, friends, heart, and rain

7 Jun

This has been a pretty awesome week for me in running!

The best thing about this week is that my husband Mark has started running with me in the morning to prepare for the two fun 5Ks we will be doing together this summer. We ran a mile together on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning followed by some strength training. He’ll be ready for those 5K’s in no time!

runloveSince my training goals are different than Mark’s, I still have to get in longer runs. On Monday evening, I joined the Albany Running Exchange for a group trail run and BBQ. We ran a very hilly 3.5 mile course (9:48 pace) around fields and woods. Then we enjoyed some food and a demonstration of Slackline and Acro Yoga by Team WillCo. Unfortunately, my phone was not being cooperative and I couldn’t get any photos. Here are a couple of examples from their page:

Talk about some serious strength! I’m truly in awe of their talent and beauty of movement. I’m lucky if I can keep my balance during warrior pose on flat ground…

On National Running Day (Wednesday), I headed out solo for run number two in the evening. I brought my GPS but I ran without music. Mostly because I got pretty used to it during my “naked” runs and just forgot. Turns out, I actually enjoy going without tunes and just listening to the rhythm of my body. (Wow, that was corny…but true.)

runwithheart4.37 miles | 36:46 total time | 8:25 avg pace

My big order from Brooks came just in time for a today’s rainy run, so I got to test out my new running jacket! The rain got heavier and heavier and the jacket held up pretty well for most of the run, but my arms still ended up kind of soaked. Much better than last time though. I think some wetness is just going to have to be expected!

rainyrun2I’m really beginning to appreciate and enjoy these rainy runs. No, seriously. There’s something both soothing and empowering about running in the rain and I’m embracing it.

rainygps4.03 miles | 33:29 total time | 8:19 avg pace

Following the run, I worked on my core and legs. This week I’ve re-committed myself to my goals of incorporating more strength training into my workouts. Can’t get faster without getting stronger! I still haven’t made a formal plan to help me achieve my new goal, but whatever I’m doing right now seems to be having a positive impact. I’m considering consulting with an e-coach for some key workouts and pointers.

Happy Friday, friends! My question to you: What’s your experience with using an e-coach?